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Guest Kpod

?s on ADSC (Active Duty Service Commitment)

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Guest Kpod

Hello,

I’m looking at competing for an UPT slot and it suddenly hit me that I’ll be committing the next ten years of my life to a job and lifestyle that I have read about, but never experienced. From what I’ve read on this forum, most of you seem pretty stoked on your jobs – what are some of the downsides to an AF aviation career that I may not see from ‘this side’? I would like to go the fighter route, but how competitive is that? What if I end up flying something I find boring? Could I be stuck dreading my job for 8 years? I’ve heard that many commercial pilots find their jobs boring, do any of you? Also, since the AF has ‘got you’ for 10 years, they don’t need to worry about keeping you happy like a civilian employer has to. Any insight you could pass along would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Kpod

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Here's my two pennies.

First, there's no such thing as a bad flying job. Airlines pilots get bored because all they ever do is take off, George on, George off, and put down the magazine to flare. The military plane with the least amount of "fun" i.e. AWACS is still alot more fun to fly.

It's pretty impossible to go through UPT and then hate your job. I wasn't sure if I would like Hercs until the first time I flew one. Then I realized TAC Airlift was were I belonged.

The AF won't be worried about keeping you happy even after 10 years, so don't worry about that. But seriously, with today's job market, civlian companies don't need to worry about keeping young employees happy either because they all need their jobs.

About the only downside is to military aviation is the time away from home, but it's still the pinnacle of flying.

Good luck to you!

HD

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Guest Animal

KPod,

This one is near and dear to my heart, so here goes:

I am SOOO sick and tired of people talking about the ADSC (Active Duty Service Commitment) associated with pilot or nav training.

If your goal in life is to fly airplanes, then go to college, get your ratings, and go work for the airlines. I'll be in coach: I want the chicken dinner and as many gin and tonics as you can pour.

If your goal in life is to serve your country, be an officer, and fly military aircraft in combat (which has very little to do with flying airliners no matter what kind of military airplane you are flying), then get your butt to UPT/UNT and plan on having a blast for the next 20 years plus.

If down the road your priorities change and you don't want to be an officer any more because you are away from home too often or some other crap, then don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. If moving every three years ain't your cup of tea and you still want to be an officer and an aviator, then the Guard/Reserve is the best deal going.

Said another way: 50 years from now do you want to be telling your grandkids stories that start with this:

"This one time, I was shooting the ILS at DFW, and I had real bad heart burn cause the flight attendant brought me the wrong meal"

or this:

"This one time, I was flying blacked out on NVGs into this bare base in ###-Stan to drop off the TACAN so that it could be used as a divert for Operation Enduring Freedom."

or:

"This one time I shacked a half dozen live GBU-12s at the range, hit a tanker, and then fought the ENTIRE South African Air Force...as a 2 ship"

or:

"This one time I was buying a round for my 1500 closest friends at this night club in Cape Town when.....

I digress.

There is more to life than money. If you want to live a life that your high school class mates could only dream about, then military flying is the way to go.

KPod said: "Also, since the AF has ‘got you’ for 10 years, they don’t need to worry about keeping you happy like a civilian employer has to."

The Air Force is not an employer. It is a military service. You don't work for the Air Force...you SERVE in it. That being said: What is my ADSC? I have no friggin idea. They are gone have to drag me out kicking and screaming.... that's how much I love it. Does that help?

ANIMAL

[ 23. August 2004, 19:24: Message edited by: Animal ]

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Guest tentoad

Wow

I didnt even begin to think about how long my commitment was until I finally got to the gate at Loring (Northern Maine)at 0200 in the middle of a blizzard. Turned out to be a great assignment. Lifes what you make of the opportunities you are presented with- Good Luck!!!

Tentoad

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Guest Kpod

Thanks for all the views - so I take it that everyone is thrilled to serve each day and the thought of ADSC never crosses your mind? Not to sound fictitous, but there have to be some drawbacks, I just don't want them to come as surprises. I take it then the pilot who 'wants out' is a rare occurance?

Thanks again,

Kyle

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Pilots "who want out" are a rare occurence RIGHT NOW. Think back 5 years ago and they (we?) were jumping out like rats off a sinking ship (need proof? Look at the $25,000/year bonus plan to keep pilots around). Now that the airlines have tanked and appear to be staying that way for years to come, all the pilots want to stay in.

While I agree with the previous posts - military flying is the way to go - I will add a downside for you: being away from home 200+ days a year. Yes, it can be fun. Yes, there are good stories. But after 3-4 years of it, TDY gets old. Having said that...not a day goes by where I don't wish I could've gone to UPT on Active Duty (rather than going ANG).

Anyway, like all things on baseops.net..."IT DEPENDS" is probably a good answer. You will probably like the flying, but your tolerance for being away from home or being told where to live might be less than someone else's. Unfortunately for you, there's really only one way to find out...and that's to try it!

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Here's my thoughts:

Nobody ever got out of the AF because he didn't like flying F-16's (insert your plane here.) They get out because of all the bullshit that often goes along with it. I guess it is our penance for that one awesome part of our job, but the amount of hours I put in at work a week vs. the 1-2 hours I spend flying starts to sap my will to live. After 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, even the coolest job starts to drag you down.

I am very proud of being in the "service," but when my time in the service is up, I will be gone. I can't picture myself doing the same shit I'm doing now in 15 years. And my neck hurts. Vipers rule!

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And by the way, 10 years in the "service" is 10 years longer than 95% of America spends serving thier country, so don't let any of these true patriots make you feel like a commie because you don't want to be in the AF for 69 years and work for free.

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Guest purplecaddis

You are right 10 years is a longtime for a commitment and you are smart to be thinking about it. When we have hiring boards that is one of the questions we ask. It is important that people realize UPT is only the beginning of the commitment

As for the downside to Air Force flying, Beaver is spot on. After a couple of years as the new guy learning to fly your aircraft you will become the "experienced" flt lead/ Aircraft Commander. With that comes an additional duty, i.e. the stuff that saps your will to live.

As for AD vs. Guard/Reserves unlike Bergman I have never wished that I had gone the Active Duty. True you do not have a full time job, but being a bum can be a great way of life for a new Lt. More importantly you have A LOT MORE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE.

Also if commercial aviation is something you want to do later in life you can get there quicker. I had 0 flight time prior to UPT; I was at a major airline 6 years after I was out of UPT. This downturn in commercial aviation will not last forever.

You are on the right track, ask a lot of questions and get all the info you can to make the decision that is best for you. Look into both the AD and the reserve components.

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Guest PiperDriver

I read "To be a u.s. air force fighter pilot," last night and it said after upt you must sign up for 8 years and of those 5 have to be Active Duty. If this is the case after the five years you could transfer to the ANG of AFR? Has anyone done this. Thanks in advance!

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AD commitment is 10 years now. You can apply for PALACE CHASE while on AD and finish 3 times your commitment in the Guard/Reserve (i.e. if you had one year left on AD you'd do 3 in the Guard/Reserve). I think you needed to have done 8 years on AD though before you can apply for that, someone correct me if I'm wrong.

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Guest PiperDriver

Does this mean you do 2 years in UPT then sign up for 10 more.

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Originally posted by wannaairlift:

I think you needed to have done 8 years on AD though before you can apply for that

Sounds about right. IIRC it's 75% of your initial ADSC, so 7.5 years of the 10.

The 10 year ADSC starts the day you get your wings. So after a casual job and UPT you're looking at 11-12 years total commitment to the active duty (unless you are allowed to Palace Chase). It's been mentioned a few times in other threads, but right now the Palace Chase program is going like crazy...guys being let go (to the ANG) after only 2-3 years on active duty. Of course, 2 years ago it was nearly impossible to Palace Chase. Go figure.

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Just kinda wondering, if they ever get the J off the ground, and regular joe-schmo slick guys switch to the J, what would the service commitment be? Would there be one since it would be going from C-130 to C-130? Any guesses out there?

Just asking

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Your service commitment would be incurred from the Formal Training Unit, which likely would be the same as your initial training (if going from 130 to 130).

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Guest rotorhead

A partial answer is NONE, depending....here's the gouge from AFI 36-2107:

"3 years (see notes 1 and 2) If the ADSC incurring event is for: Advanced Flying Training (AFT): Applicable AFT courses in the following categories must be listed as ADSC-incurring in the Education and Training Course Announcement at (https://etca.keesler.af.mil)

- Initial qualification (any fixed or rotary wing aircraft)

- Requalification (any fixed or rotary wing aircraft)

- AETC Pilot Instructor Trng (PIT) (Note: Pilots who crossflow without a break in flying between AETC non-Major Weapons System aircraft, after completing initial training do not incur any additional commitment.)

- Test Pilot School (for Pilots, Navs, and Engineers)

- All Career Enlisted Aviators and Non-rated Enlisted Aircrew Members attending Advanced Flying Training"

NOTE 1B:

"All pilots, navigators, and air battle managers who began aviation service after 30 September 1997 will not incur any additional Advanced Flying Training (AFT)/Instructor Qualification ADSCs which extend beyond 10 years of continuous or cumulative rated service. Rated service begins at the completion of training and awarding of wings for the rated specialty."

There may be more recent messages/changes, but that's the basic AFI.

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Originally posted by rotorhead:

"3 years (see notes 1 and 2) If the ADSC incurring event is for:

- Initial qualification (any fixed or rotary wing aircraft)

- Requalification (any fixed or rotary wing aircraft)."

Not knowing anything about Hercs, I would think it would fall under one of these two categories. C model guys and guys who have been out the Strike Eagle cockpit for a couple years have to go through a requalification (Transition) course. The answer to the question depends on exactly how much training is conducted to transition from slicks to Js.

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Looks like it would a three year commitment if I read that right. Going from Es or Hs to Js requires a full FTU spin up; its a completely new aircraft even though it has a similar look.

I think the FTU is similar to the old fashion herks: about 5 monthsish.

bummer

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Guest Jbino17

Really quick and if the question gets answered and someone feels its not useful to anyone else then the moderator can delete this, by all means.

I know that the Pilot commitment is 10 years and the other Officer commitments are 4 years. However, at the time you select Pilot as desired for your AF career (during ROTC), do you commit to 10 years? Or, is it only after you have become a pilot, after UPT and the rest, you sign for 10 years?

Oh and if someone washes out of UPT, are they commited to AD for 10 years?

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Once you get your wings you incur the 10 year commitment. So, with the long casual periods and a year of UPT you're looking at about 12 years of service before you can leave the Air Force.

If wash out of UPT you could possibly lose your commission and be given the boot.

[ 21. July 2006, 19:31: Message edited by: Goin2UPT ]

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Guest Jbino17

so basically, WASHING OUT = DEATH OF CAREER? Sounds like a blast....NOT!

Isn't there a low washout rate? I'm not sure, but I remember hearing that it's pretty low. I supposed if you stay on top of your stuff then it shouldn't be a problem.

Thanks for the help, and if you are going to, or are at, UPT goodluck!

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1) Your ADSC starts on the day you get your wings. Add in casual and training time and it really equals about 12 years.

2) It is hard to wash out of UPT these days.

3) Yes, there is a low washout rate and most are attributed to medical DQs and SIEs.

4) Study hard, chair fly, pay attention, help your classmates, and graduating from UPT won't be a problem. 90% of it is in your head, 10% is your natural ability to fly a plane.

5) It isn't guaranteed that you will be kicked out if you do wash out. If you had a good attitude, people will go to bat for you and try to get you retrained in another career field. But with force shaping, you're still putting yourself in a bad position. If you SIE (read: waste the AF's time and money) you're out.

6) Finally, if you are not willing to risk getting kicked out or a 10-year commitment, don't go to UPT. If you REALLY want to fly, those things won't be that big of a deal to you.

HD

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Guest Jollygreen
Originally posted by jbino17:

so basically, WASHING OUT = DEATH OF CAREER? Sounds like a blast....NOT!

May want to keep in mind that all 3 year LTs are currently going through force shaping boards. Next year it will be the 2004 year group.

If you are in an AFSC that is targeted, you can also be released if you don't strat high enough. Pilots aren't being targeted in force shaping.

Life is filled with risks no matter what road you decide to go down.

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